South Indian Cuisine
This Kerala beef dish is the stuff of legend.
A slow-roasted beef dish with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, chillies and curry leaves, this delicacy is served in tiny nondescript shops all across the South Indian state of Kerala. These are places that don’t bother with unnecessary items like menus and anyone who enters the shop is served the beef ularthiyathu.
The dish is said to have originated in the kitchens of the Nasrani people of Kerala. Following one of the earliest forms of Christianity in the world, the Nasrani are descended from early Christians evangelised by Thomas the Apostle back in the 1st century. The uniqueness of their origins and their distinctive identity in Kerala contributed to their culinary principles.
With a wide range of flavours and routines and rituals of combination, the cuisine is not easy to understand. Even the way of serving and the sequences of dishes are quite complex. However they have a refinement of flavour very rarely experienced.
The Beef Ularthiyathu is one of their most famous dishes transcending class, culture and religion. In a country with a hindu majority like India, no-one would expect a beef dish to be so popular. But in Kerala the Beef Ularthiyathu is an intrinsic part of its identity.